Once again, a super cool steam project for Halloween 2016.
I needed a steam-weapon, something understated with a cool story. Steampunk is all about that story.
My character that I’ve been working is a 33rd century explorer who makes trips to the past. So, what does a gentleman do for a weapon? yep. a plasma cane.
First up was the plasma-core.
I went into the hardware store. This time, an independently owned ACE hardware that has always been really, really well stocked with odd parts. A few brass fittings acted as my vacuum tube base. My light source, which was a much cooler build that I stupidly didn’t photograph, was a flashlight from harbor freight. You know, the free ones that they basically give out every week. I ripped it apart and de-soldered the white LEDs from the board and put in my own 9-LEDs that were green. Instant plasma-power!
I then decided that I needed to show off the tube more. Its such a cool antique future part. I cut the shroud down and then built a cage for it out of some 1/4 inch brass rod.
The hard part was getting the brass rod bent at the same points 6 times over, then drilling and epoxying them into place. I used some T-66 structural epoxy and it is STRONG! very impressed with system3’s epoxy.
Now with the plasma generator built, it was time to fashion the rest of the cane. This was pretty quick. some more copper and a rubber furniture foot and boom the bottom is done.
The handle — That was the hard part. First it was lets solder all the pipe, then it was how do I get to the batteries for the light? So I decided that once again, screws would save the day.
The wiring, while extremely simple was a real bear to get fit into the pipe and working. I ended up not trying to use the body of the copper handle to conduct as I was losing too much power and I didn’t want to kill my batteries too fast. So I wired it up to a switch on an end-cap and it really came together.
Overall a super easy, super challenging project. Once again, lots of little problems to solve. Lots of fun to build. Lots of fun to build a story around too!